Having pretty much grown up with dogs all my life, I have without fail watched Crufts on TV every year for as long as I can remember, and every year I I tell myself “next year I will get tickets and go” but never have. So this year, when I was given tickets through working at VioVet to spend a day at Crufts I was over the moon!
On Saturday 10th March, me and my mum drove to Birmingham NEC to attend the worlds greatest dog show. Once we had parked and then walked 20 minutes to the exhibition centre, we were greeted by crowds of dog lovers from all over the world. Never attending before now, I didn’t really know what to expect or where to start. We ended up making our way round to the Discover Dogs section where you can meet over 200 dog breeds. Being a dog lover this was quite possibly the favourite part of my day. I discovered breeds of dog that I never knew existed, and got to pet and play with some of my all time favourites like the pug and bull mastiff.
It was great to talk to the owners of these dogs and listen to their knowledge of the breed and get first hand advice on grooming, training and whether the breed was right the right breed for me (not that I need any more dogs).
One of the first dogs that I saw that really amazed me was the Pekingese. This dog had such a self-importance attitude, greeting everyone that came over for a stroke with such dignity and pride. With their soft round eyes and a mane of long straight hair, this dog knows he has swagger.
I was determined to find the Brussels Griffons because I wanted to see the similarity between a pure breed and my cross breed Teddy. As soon as I set eyes on their little monkey faces, I was in love. They are so cheerful and affectionate to their owners. We were lucky enough to meet both type of Griffons: the rough-coated Griffon and the smooth-coated Griffon.
After getting my small dog intake, we set off to find some of the big dogs, our first encounter being with the bull mastiffs. Large and powerfully built, these dogs have quite a formidable appearance which is great when needed, but the owner assured me they are a loving family companion for the rest of the time if well trained and socialized. After enjoying some drool-filled kisses, I discovered the owner also had a teenie-tiny chihuahua on her stand. I was amazed at how she coped with having 3 very large dogs and 1 mouse sized dog, which she said that they all got on very well, she just had to make sure the bullmastiffs didn’t sit on her!
We then came across a beautiful Leonberger who instantly stole my mums heart. She was so loving and affectionate to a total stranger, and you could just see pure love in her eyes. Her soft and thick coat just made you want to snuggle in for cuddles, although I did hear another member of the public say that they shed heavily twice a year! I can only imagine how much hoovering is involved during this time.
Before we left, we were determined to meet a group who we follow on Facebook called Muffin Pug Rescue. These are a team of pug lovers and rescuers who are dedicated to helping the poor little breed that has been abused and neglected over the years as it has become more of a fashion trend rather than a pet. Muffin is the pug who’s story started this charity. She was used as a bait for dog fighting, and was very much nearly put to sleep until she was rescued. Sadly she lost her back leg but now lives a very happy and loved life with her owner.
To end our day, we headed to the main arena so we could get a glimpse of the famous light up Crufts sign. Unfortunately, we were met with an hour long que which we were not willing to wait in, especially as we had our own pooches to get home to, so we made do with a printed wall sign to prove we were there.
Being a cross-breed owner, I would have loved to have seen more mixed-breed dogs at Crufts, which I know is kind of against the point. But I am so glad that we now have Scruffts to enjoy where any cross-breeds can compete. Who knows, maybe one day I can enter one of my own for “Most Handsome dog” or “Prettiest bitch”?